Identical Hardware Configuration for Load Balanced Web Servers

Posted on 2005-04-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I would like to set up a a pair of Load Balanced Web Servers using Windows 2000 Advanced Server Edition.
I would like to know if both servers must be IDENTICAL in hardware configuration before the NLB can work.

This is because the two intended Web Servers I have on hand are not identical in their hardware configuration.
If they can work, will the NLB service be compromised due to their differences in hardware config?

Question by:fullmf
LVL 85

Accepted Solution

oBdA earned 375 total points
ID: 13854935
NLB should work with different hardware as well. You might want to use the same NIC type for NLB in all machines, but it's not a necessity either.
Instead of using Windows 2000, you might want to switch to Server 2003. In Windows 2000, NLB is only available in the Advanced Server, whereas it's available in all editions of Server 2003, including the Web Edition, which comes a lot cheaper than Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

Network Load Balancing: Frequently Asked Questions for Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003

Windows Clustering

Author Comment

ID: 13855845
Hi oBda,
thank you for providing the links, I will read through them carefully.

The reason I'm using Win2K is that my company has some spare copies of it lying around. But for our future hardware acquired, we would have to use Windows Server 2003, Web Edition.

I was told by the System Administrator of my Web Hosting Company tt it is better for the load balanced pair of Web Servers to be of the same hardware configuration. I didn't quite buy his reasoning so I decided to check with the experts here. What I wanted was a higher end server acting as master web server and it is acting as the load balancer as well. The second lower end box will be the slave web server.

Thanks again and have a great week ahead!


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